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November 17, 2009

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November 17, 2009

I have enjoyed reading about the work the J street does. I think that they fill an important role. I also think that they are a new organization working to solidify their goals and ideals.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

learning all the different ways that they are making change with students on college campuses.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 15, 2009

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November 15, 2009

As a board member of the J Street U program, I can say that the brand new organization is very exciting and has tremendous potential for creating change. I began working with J Street U staff and resources when it was not J Street U yet, but the UPZ--a similar organization which provided resources and networking to campus groups advocating for Middle East peace. Through the UPZ, I brought to my campus excellent speakers from all over the country, as well as from Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. I also was able to include my campus in the national "We Can't Wait" (for Middle East peace) campaign, which was very successful. When the UPZ became the campus branch of J Street, it brought along all its resources, connections, and established campus groups. Combined with the existing breadth and growing influence of J Street, J Street U has been able to provide even more for students who want to both educate and advocate autonomously on their individual campuses AND be part of a broader movement to create real change. So far, J Street U has been a huge success, with more resources and campus groups than when it was the UPZ...and with excellent guidance and encouragement from J Street. J Street U is still in the process of defining itself as both a part of J Street and a student-led movement, but again, J Street is providing the guidance and encouragement we need.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

shaping the way I relate to the Middle East and to the US. learning how to organize for a cause I believe in.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the confidence and skills it has helped me build

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely encouraging, helpful, and honest.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change American foreign policy towards the Middle East.

Ways to make it better...

going in, I had known more about the internal workings of the organization and its relationship with J Street.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the controversial and cruel nature of the media game.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 14, 2009

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November 14, 2009

My name is Noa Baum, I travel all over the country and perform in many universities with a show that aims at introducing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through personal narrative. Everywhere I go I meet young people who feel there is no place on campuses for their voice - people who love Israel but want to see another future. who feel being pro-Israel means also being Pro-Palestinian. They are looking for a place where they can learn but also express their concerns, questions and doubts without being labeled "anti-Israel". J street and it's fabulous education fund are stepping in to fill this need. I had the privilege of presenting at the J street conference and meeting many of the wonderful staff and volunteers. What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is the energy and dedication of everyone involved. the staff that I met were incredibly knowledgeable and extremely competent. It was inspiring to see them in action. I know that if this organization gets more financial support their impact would be greater. They could engage thousands more students in this cause, train more student leaders, provide countless educational opportunities, run free or reduced rate trips to Israel and Palestine, and more! The J street Education Fund is a much needed ray of hope that can support a just and sustainable peace in Israel/Palestine.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the energy and enthusiasm of everyone in the staff and the volunteers.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

offer more opportunities for education on campus. sponsor more trips to the Israel that give a more in-depth and balanced view of the situation where the narratives of both people can be heard.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 14, 2009

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November 14, 2009

My name is Aimee Mayer and I am one of the members of J Street U's National Student Board. I have been fortunate enough to work with J Street U since the very beginning. J Street U as an organization seeks to provide a strong new voice to the debate about Israel and the Middle East. Its inclusiveness and willingness to engage with people of a wide variety of backgrounds is incredible and refreshing. As a board member, I have personally seen how student run it really is. All important decisions are completely based on student needs and student input. The policy statements and mission statement are written by the Student Board. It really is an organization for us and by us. Every student, not just the board, is asked to give feedback, suggestions, and policy input through a variety of means (conference calls, notecards or post-its during conferences, emails, etc). On individual campuses, J Street U does fantastic work, and individual groups can count on the support and advise of J Street U staff in planning their events, trying to secure funding, and more. Events cover a wide range of topics. At the University of Maryland, where I am President of J Street U, we just ran an event called "Of War and Water" which discussed the water crisis in the Middle East, how climate change may exacerbate this, current cooperation efforts surrounding water amongst Israelis and Palestinians (as well as other countries in the region), and the outlook going forward. Earlier in the year, we had a Party for Peace, which in addition to great music and food, featured OneVoice activists from Israel and Palestine who spoke with students about their experiences and peace education and advocacy work in Israel and Palestine.

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The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

changing the dynamics of the conversation about Israel both on the national level and at my campus specifically and in furthering the education of students surrounding issues of Middle East peace and security.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the energy and dedication of everyone involved.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, down-to-earth, and inspiring.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

engage thousands more students in this cause, train more student leaders, provide countless educational opportunities, run free or reduced rate trips to Israel and Palestine, and more!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 14, 2009

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November 14, 2009

When I heard about J Street, I knew that it was a breakthrough organization with a much needed message. As a young Jewish activist on Arab-Israeli issues, and a student of peace and conflict resolution, I had previously felt that my perspective was not being represented by other Jewish institutions. While I was advocating for looking at the conflict critically and reaching out to dialogue with all parties to develop a nuanced understanding, everywhere else I looked I saw only polarization. From personal experience, I have found that J Street has created a surge in interest and participation among my Jewish friends and peers who previously felt disconnected. At the J Street conference I have had the privilege to see the 250 youth from dozens of campuses who came to support J Street’s call for a new approach. They were excited to be there, really excited. Finally – seemed to be the sentiment echoed over and over – finally, after so much polarization and no progress, there is a movement that we can be a part of, a space where we can have a real dialogue and take effective action in pursuance of the goal everyone says they want – peace. It is through a movement like this, that has the best interest of Israel at heart and that opens the conversation, that we can finally make progress in the efforts toward a resolution. I am very proud to be a part of J Street and J Street U and I expect they will make be making a great impact on the way we view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am confident it will be a positive one.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the 1500 people who attended their first conference in October. The excitement and passion for the cause was contagious.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 14, 2009

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November 14, 2009

J Street has been a breath of fresh air when it comes to Israel's relations with the US and the middle east. I helped them prepare for their conference doing menial tasks, however it gave me an insight into how hard everyone there works and how passionate they are about making clear J Street's goals to the public. I was impressed by the speaker diversity and notoriety they secured for the conference, as well as the high attendance and all with a limited staff. I followed the conference via streaming coverage on the web. The conference gave a feeling of hope about the future of the middle east after seeing J Street's solidarity with President Obama's views in that region. J Street is mobilizing the public, giving us a megaphone so we can compete with the conservative Israel lobby that has too long controlled policy on Capitol Hill.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Substantially help diffuse tensions between Israel and its neighbors by pushing a pro peace approach so that it is becomes a common goal in America

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

I support Jewish values that teach us to love the stranger and oppose oppression. The security and strength of Israel is tied to the well-being and healing of Palestine, and I am delighted to support an organization that recognizes this interconnection. J Street, in its promotion of peace, justice and a two state solution to the conflict, is such an organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The success of their recent Washington DC conference.

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How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

Suddenly, a bright spot appears on the Jewish political front in America. One that perfectly captures my love of and concern for the future of Israel, yet one that realizes that Israel's future is most secure without the occupation and as a democratic Jewish state. J-Street and their educational arm is doing crucial work for the future of Israel and for the Jewish community of the United States.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Reclaim the wonderfully diverse image of Israel among college students across the country, presenting a positive picture without glossing over the stains.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

Having interned with J Street this past summer and currently organzing a J Street group on campus, I have been able to see the growth of the J Street Education Fund from a seedling to a vibrant, relevant, and useful campus organization. Participating in the student portion of the J Street Conference this past October, I was able to see the hundreds of students passionate about the pro-Israel, pro-peace agenda, and how successful they have been in programing, education, and advocacy of this narrative with the help of J Street Education Fund on their campus. Considering how nre this organization is, I am impressed by its wisom regarding how to deal with opposing and complementary groups on campus, how to talk about our narrative to other students, and how to organize useful events and a well-functioning chapter. I am proud to say that I am working with others on my campus to make my college a powerful node in J Street U's network, a networking which provides students like myself with hope for a better Israel.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the student portion of the J Street National Conference.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

get recent graduates involved in campus organizing.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

their effective strategies in helping us engage with other students, groups, and powerful voices in the Jewish community.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

young, energetic, and passionate.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

take Jewish students to Israel to expose them to the pro-Israel, pro-peace narrative.

Ways to make it better...

I had learned more specifically on how a chapter might work on a very small, unengaged campus.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the more established, better-funded, and more aggressive pro-Israel organizations.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I wish they had kept pro-Israel in their title.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

November 13, 2009

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November 13, 2009

Working at J Street was an incredible experience. The level of commitment across the organization to helping Israel find peace was astounding. Additionally, everyone on staff-from Jeremy Ben-Ami down-was personable and made an effort to know everyone there. This made for a great working environment, and I personally believe is related to the tremendous success this organization has had over the last 19 months.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my experiences in the American Jewish community. People are becoming more thoughtful and open-minded concerning America's role in the Middle East, and it is resulting in a more civil debate on the issue.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the people I met and the connections I made. What a wonderful group!

Ways to make it better...

it had lasted longer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

determining its course now that it has become among the biggest players in the American Jewish community.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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